Mark Mathews surf Shipsterns on a soft top
Photos by Andrew Chisholm Mark Mathews recently jumped down to Shipsterns, in Tasmania, to see if he couldn’t get himself into some pulse-increasing situations. What he found was some good times, but not the kind of size that the Stern has potential for. Between rain squalls and 40-minute waits (always a problem when there’s west in […]
Photos by Andrew Chisholm
Mark Mathews recently jumped down to Shipsterns, in Tasmania, to see if he couldn’t get himself into some pulse-increasing situations. What he found was some good times, but not the kind of size that the Stern has potential for. Between rain squalls and 40-minute waits (always a problem when there’s west in the swell), there was some good moments. But Mr Mathews wanted something a little more. So, he pulled out a Catch Surf soft top, an Odysea Skipper, and glided into a few gems.
“It actually goes sick,” says Mark. “It was a 6’0” but it paddled like a 7’0” – I was getting into waves so much earlier than I usually would. I got five waves but only fell on one. Everything’s sweet, the only problems are when you get your feet in the wrong spot and it flexes and slows down, or when you have to turn sharp after the step. Otherwise, if you point it, it just goes. Especially since it was a quad. So long as you don’t have to fully knife a drop.”
But that’s not all. Perhaps Jamie O’Brien has been onto something this whole time: “There’s a false sense of security with soft tops,” says Mark. “It feels safer, even though really it’s probably more dangerous.”
Oh, and… pink! “Pink was all they had in the shop,” laughs Mark. “I don’t mind though, it looks good in photos. The photographers were stoked!”
Andrew Chisholm, one of said photographers and the man who captured these images, adds a channel perspective: “Mark paddled out, sat about and slinked into a couple before a nice sized set rolled on through. The skipper really took off on the initial paddle and when he got to his feet, I was kinda thinking, ‘wow he’s going to go over big time.’ But… he pulled it off!”
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